We had the good fortune of connecting with Micah Dawanyi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Micah, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my success is inspiration. Inspiration is what drives me to create and do the work I do. What inspires me translates into what I want to focus on with my work. I honestly don’t ever want to be in a situation where I’m working on something that doesn’t inspire or move me, because it won’t come out right. Inspiration is everything. Now me personally, I get my inspiration from a lot of places. First and foremost, God. I don’t think there is a scientific formula that can explain the feeling of inspiration. To me, it comes from my creator. I’m also really inspired by music. The music you listen during certain seasons can almost act as the soundtrack to your life, and you can pull inspiration from that music. As an author and producer, I try to give my projects a certain feeling, and so I like to listen to specific types of music to stay in a certain state of mind while creating. Before/as I started working on my book and series ‘Step Into My Shoes’, I found myself listening to a lot of music about the social issues going on here in America. I was listening to musicians like Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Kendrick Lamar, Marvin Gaye, etc. This music was part of the inspiration behind my book, as I sought to tackle a lot of those same social issues that those artists were singing about. I actually ended up releasing an official soundtrack for my book too, with all of the music that inspired me creatively during the writing process. Ultimately, inspiration is what helps us achieve what we want to. If you have the work ethic without the inspiration, you will only get so far. You have to be moved by something for you to be able to put your all into it, especially when it comes to creating art. It’s just mandatory.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Well, I’m the author and producer of ‘Step Into My Shoes’ the book & audio series. These projects both offer deeper dives into the social issues affecting all of us today, but through my lens. My projects aim to ultimately do 3 things: educate, enlighten, and empower. I touch on some important issues like mental health, police brutality, colorism, psychological trauma caused by social injustice, as well as how to move towards a brighter future for everyone. I do this through storytelling, all while referencing history to bring my audience to a place of understanding, as to why the things I’m talking about are still relevant. This is how I educate, enlighten, and empower the people. I also write pieces for social justice projects and campaigns, and I do public speaking occasionally as well. Lastly, I hold my nationally coaching license (soccer), so a lot of people know me for my work as a coach. The biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way has been to create simply for the beauty of it. I only started working on my book & series to reach maybe 20 people, if I was lucky. After a while my work started taking off, but even when it did, I felt just as excited as when I had started, before I even knew that my work was going to start to take off. My intentions with my work never changed, even as more attention started to come my way. I really just want to use my creative projects to impact society in a positive way. I’ve been given a voice, and even though I’m only 20 years old, I’ve recognised that you’re never too young to change the world. I hope for the people who pay attention to me, that I can inspire them and motivate them to find their purpose and do what they are passionate about. The world is big enough for all of us to achieve greatness and pursue our passions in our own particular ways.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first stop would be at Publix, to grab a Publix sub. That’s just something that’s mandatory in south Florida. There aren’t many other things that scream “Florida” as loudly as publix subs. I’d probably let them stroll through the entire store as well, as I’ve found through traveling that Publix is exclusive to select locations only, and these locations are primarily in Florida. From there, I’d probably take them to go see a movie at one of the local IMAX theatres, and then take them on a nice boat tour of the beautiful houses and scenery in Miami. I’d also make time during the week to take them to Dolphin Mall. This is a place where they could shop, interact with locals, get something to eat, the whole 9 yards. My last stop would be to drive/walk through Wynwood, and show them all of the street art put together on the streets of Wynwood. I think after their week with me, they’d leave Miami with a pretty good sense of the culture/lifestyle.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I definitely have to shoutout my close family. I grew up in a household where I was always told that I could be something great, and I could do what I wanted to do. Even in the midst of hardships, even when I encountered setbacks, my family still always made sure to encourage me to chase my dreams. If I showed even a little bit of interest in anything, my family would try their best to pool together their resources and support my interests. They instilled the confidence in me to where I’ve always felt comfortable pursuing different career endeavours- even if they seemed crazy to outsiders. Without my family, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I also want to shoutout my close circle of friends- they know who they are. These days, it’s not as easy as some might think to find genuine, real friends to walk through life with. But for me, I’ve been blessed with some really solid friends. We all support each other’s endeavours and the love and respect is always mutual between us. I think to be successful, you have to surround yourself with positive people who are about something. If you surround yourself with negative people who don’t want to do anything with their lives, it’s only a matter of time before their ways start to affect you. So for me, I’m really appreciate of the type of people I’m around. We’re all on the right path, and we keep our mindsets positive.